China Pipeline Fire Kills Two, Cuts Gas Supplies


BEIJING, July 20 (Reuters) - China's Sinopec has shut down a section of the Sichuan-East China gas pipeline in the country's central region after it was hit by a landslide and fire, killing two people.

The fire was under control and the company was working to restore the facility that carries natural gas from the southwestern province of Sichuan to eastern China, a spokesman for China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) said.

Associated gas wells were also being shut down, he said.

The accident happened in a remote region in central Hubei province. Central China has experienced heavy rains in recent weeks, resulting in landslides and widespread flooding.

Sinopec said it has cut off 9.8 million cubic meters of gas supply per day to industrial users following the accident.

The company was working with fellow state-owned energy firm PetroChina to arrange an emergency daily supply of 5 million cubic meters of gas per day for residential users, the spokesman said.

Two people were killed in the accident, Xinhua reported, without giving further details.

China launched an investigation into safety at oil and gas pipelines in November 2013 after more then 50 people were killed in an explosion at a Sinopec oil pipeline at the eastern oil hub of Qingdao.

(Reporting by Aizhu Chen; Editing by Richard Pullin)


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